We began the lesson by doing a light warm-up and playing Twinkle Twinkle. Rachel then showed me her progress on Old Pig Donald. She had some hesitations with playing some of the notes, so I suggested she review it for next week too. We also took a look at Shepherd Count Your Sheep and did some review in her writing book with half notes and whole notes.

I noticed she Rachel a tendency to start over when she makes a mistake, and I suggested that she work on the section she has a problem with instead of starting over and repeating the same mistake over again.

At home

Rachel can review Old Pig Donald and Shepherd Count Your Sheep. She should play both 2 or 3 times each. A parent can sit with her and listen as she plays. She may also need help reading the finger numbers as she plays along. She should play for 5 minutes every day!


We began the lesson by reviewing A Dozen a Day Group II exercises 1-3 in D major. Chantal did a great job with this! I noticed while playing the warm-ups, she has a tendency to raise her wrists really high (think T-rex arms). She doesn’t need them raised that much! She a light elevation from the keyboard, like in this image. https://goo.gl/images/HhaazF

We then looked at A Mixed Up Song. I emphasized it was important to keep the left hand on the keyboard, even when it isn’t playing. The fingerings suggested in the piece are also really helpful and make the piece easier to play. It’s important to follow them!

At home

Chantal should play Dozen a Day Group II exercises 4-6 in D major, playing with strong fingers. She should work on A Mixed Up Song, making sure to use the suggested fingerings. She can also start thinking about playing in the recital in April. I think it’d be awesome if she played! She should play for 10-15 minutes every day!


We began the lesson by playing A Dozen a Day group III exercises 7-9 in A major. She played at a great speed with strong fingers! We also looked at the Keyboard Trick warm-up, which she also did a really good job with. The main thing I worked on with this was keeping the wrist elevated! Zoe showed me The Haunted Mouse, which was really good! She kept the left hand down throughout the piece while the right hand moved!

At home

Zoe should work on A  Dozen a Day group III exercises 10-12 in A major. One of the exercises features the left hand crossing over the right hand while the right hand holds a note. I demonstrated how to do it again in the lesson. She can start to work on the Wild Colt technique exercise. She can also take a look at Classic Dance in the lesson book. She should be playing all the connected and detached notes as written. She should try to keep her fingers curved over the keys as she played. She sometimes has a tendency to let her fingers shoot up into the air as she plays. It’s important they stay close to the keyboard! She should play for 15 minutes every day.


Warm-Up: Double 3rds and F# minor harmonic scale. Start hands separately, but you can start to play hands together if you feel more confident towards the end of the week.

Sonatina: Awesome job! We will move onto something new now.

Beethoven Rondo: Start working on this hands separately. Play all articulations and dynamics as you practice. Focus on the 1st section of the piece, and play hands together towards the end of the week if you feel more comfortable.
Try to pencil in the different sections of the rondo. Here’s a little intro into the rondo form. We will also study it in more depth in the coming weeks. http://openmusictheory.com/rondo.html

Lied: Practice this all the way through 3-5 times every day. Then work on trouble spots. You can record yourself and listen back. Pencil in little marks where you hear mistakes.
Work on hands separately 4 lines before the end. Play really slowly and really strong several times, then try it at tempo with the lighter performance touch.
Look at the music, hear it in your head. Follow along the music as you hear the piece in your head on days you can’t practice.

Schumann: Practice the left hand alone in the 1st section to bring out the different voices. Think about the chords in section II. How do they relate to the key structure? Pencil in your own dynamics for section II (or adapt the ones I wrote in).

Don’t forget to bring in your sister’s saxophone piano accompaniment! We can look at in it our lesson so you can perform at the recital together.